Laurel Park picks and ponderings June 9, 2019
Doctor Mounty held off Projected narrowly to upset the 2018 G3 BWI Turf Cup at Laurel Park. Photo by Laurie Asseo.
by Frank Vespe
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 1:10 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Pick 6 — $5,062; Super High 5 — $2,342
Stat of the day: Trainer Cal Lynch is 14-for-78 (18%) with 2-year-olds making their career debuts.
The day kicks off with maiden claiming 2yo, and we’ll use a first-time starter on top in #1 Girl Next Door (9-2). Trainer Cal Lynch has an 18 percent strike rate with juveniles making their debut, and this one’s parents and grandparents almost all won at first asking in their racing careers. Also of note, jockey Johan Rosado picks this one over #4 Turide (20-1), whom he rode on debut. Also likely formidable in here is #8 Colonel Jelly Roll (3-1), who did run poorly first time out and here drops from maiden special weight company.
Have some tasty chalk! #5 Bash (1-1) ran a credible race last time out at a higher level, competed the one prior time she ran at this level, and can improve stretching back out to a one-turn mile. Also worth a gander is #3 Boom Boom Gone (5-1), who was a pretty good third three back against similar and will have blinkers taken off today.
We’ll go with the Bill Bourne-trained second-timer #2 Kneesinthebreeze (5-1) here in this maiden event on the main track, though it is a competitive group. The son of Bandbox didn’t run poorly in his first time, showing some speed before tiring to fifth, and that race produced an impressive next out winner in Gnarly Mo. This one drops a step into the claiming ranks (though as a Maryland-bred, he does not have to run for the tag) and can move forward here. Another Bandbox, the first-timer #6 Bull Shark (9-2) for Cal Lynch, is also a little interesting; he’s been working well enough towards this start and notably has a seven-furlong move on June 2 under his belt. Lynch will leg up his go-to rider in Trevor McCarthy.
- RACE 1
- SCR: 1A, 2
- RACE 2
- RACE 3
No strong opinion in this claiming one-since-a-date race. We landed on #2 Nicholas and Me (3-1), who loves the six-furlong trip, might be the major speed, and has been keeping much better company. But we couldn’t fault you for looking elsewhere in a race in which most of these have at least a puncher’s chance.
Another $8,000 claimer, this one for fillies and mares that have never won three (or 3yo fillies), and we’ll use #1 Mrs. Crews (3-1) on top. The Michelle Nevin trainee has been dropping precipitously but is the only runner in the group, after scratches, to have won more than twice. Last time out, she ran credibly against much better than these, and she gets back to a distance, 5 1/2 furlongs, at which she’s done her best work.
Pretty good effort first off the bench by #3 Ready to Run (7-2) when dueling for the lead before tiring late to sixth against better. He can move forward here, and if he does, he should be tough. Certainly at those odds, he’s more enticing than chronic lead-cougher-upper #5 Kukulkan (7-2), who’s 0-for-19 in his career. We’ll also use #12 Liar (20-1), who ran credibly against similar two back and should appreciate getting back to a sprint distance.
- RACE 4
- SCR: 1
- RACE 5
- SCR: 2
- RACE 6
- SCR: 13, 14, 15, 16
That was an ultra-impressive debut for #8 Smart Time (9-5). The Claudio Gonzalez trainee won by almost a dozen lengths in a maiden event at Delaware in a fast time (1:09.95). Three of the four to run back have finished in the triple in their follow-ups. It’s not an easy group, but if the son of Bernardini is who he appeared to be first out of the box, he’ll be tough in here, and the added ground shouldn’t be an issue. His main competition here looks to be the Jorge Duarte-trained #2 Compound It (3-1), who scored by a dozen at Parx Racing last time out, in his third career start.
It says here that #6 My Lily Rose (5-1) and #7 My T Talk (4-1) both ran better than their paltry speed figs would suggest last time out. The top pair from that race both returned to win and record better figs in their follow-ups. If our surmise is right, they could hold winning hands in this spot, stretching out on the lawn.
With back-to-back wins and big speed figs, #5 Taco Supream (8-5) is an obvious favorite here and rates a big shot to make it three straight wins. But there are concerns: he hasn’t raced since March and has done his best work at shorter distances. We’ll try for a minor upset here with #2 Won and Done (3-1), who figures to be involved in the early running and ran well in his only seven-furlong try.
Bottom-level maidens close out the racing weekend, and let’s see if we can’t close with a bang with debut runner #4 Picky Picky Picky (8-1) for trainer Ham Smith. Smith is 3-for-21 with a very positive ROI with debut maiden claimers owned, like this one, by his brother Goree.
- RACE 7
- RACE 8
- SCR: 2, 3, 14
- RACE 9
- RACE 10